Singapore to lift border restrictions for visitors from Taiwan from 18 Dec

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·5-min read
Travellers collect their luggage at the arrival hall after landing at Singapore Changi Airport in Singapore.
Travellers collect their luggage at the arrival hall after landing at Singapore Changi Airport in Singapore. (PHOTO: Then Chih Wey/Xinhua via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — Singapore will lift its border restrictions for visitors from Taiwan from midnight on 18 December.

In a media release on Friday (11 December), the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said that foreign travellers from Taiwan can apply for an Air Travel Pass (ATP) for entry into Singapore on or after 18 December.

Applicants must have remained in Taiwan in the last 14 consecutive days prior to their entry. They will undergo a COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test upon arrival at the airport.

If the result is negative, they will be allowed to go about their activities in Singapore, without a need to serve a Stay-Home Notice (SHN).

“Taiwan has a comprehensive public health surveillance system and has displayed successful control over the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Over the past 28 days, Taiwan has zero local COVID-19 cases. The risk of importation from Taiwan is low,” CAAS said in its media release.

Singaporeans, permanent residents and long-term pass holders coming in from Taiwan are not required to apply for an ATP.

They will still need to undergo a PCR test upon arrival, in lieu of a seven-day SHN with a PCR test before the end of the stay-home period. If the result is negative, they will be allowed to go about their activities in Singapore.

Taiwan a ‘very safe partner’ to do unilateral opening: Ong Ye Kung

Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung said in an interview with CNA that Taiwan is a very safe partner to do a unilateral opening with.

As of now, Taiwan has reported no local cases for more than 200 days. It has also unilaterally reduced the quarantine period for essential business travellers from Singapore to five days. Such travellers must also adhere to a controlled itinerary in Taiwan.

“With this unilateral opening, I think it's not bad, as a business traveller, you can go to Taiwan with five days quarantine,” Ong told CNA.

“And then when you return with a test, there's no need for SHN. So it's possible, hopefully we'll get a bit more to and fro between the two places.”

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The latest initiative follows the earlier lifting of border restrictions for visitors from Australia, Brunei Darussalam, mainland China, New Zealand and Vietnam.

When asked by CNA if Singapore is pursuing an air travel bubble arrangement with Taiwan to allow general travellers to move between borders, Ong said he would like to pursue such an arrangement with all the places Singapore has unilaterally opened to.

“It takes two hands to clap. Especially for the northern hemisphere – now they are going through winter. So winter is a sensitive period, you see these cases spike up,” he said.

“It is not a time when they are prepared... to try to establish an air travel bubble.”

CAAS said in its media release that as of 10 December, 11.59pm, it has approved 9,284 applications for visitors from these places, and received 4,050 visitors. As of 9 December, 11.59pm, all visitors who have arrived in Singapore under the ATP have tested negative for COVID-19.

Details of ATP application, conditions of travel

ATP applicants must comply with the following conditions of travel:

  • They must have spent the last 14 consecutive days in Taiwan before departing for Singapore. All visitors must travel to Singapore on direct flights without transit.

  • Upon arrival in Singapore, visitors must undergo a COVID-19 PCR test at the airport. The test results will be out within 48 hours, and typically within 12 hours. After taking the COVID-19 PCR test, visitors are to take private transportation, taxi or private hire car from the airport to their declared place of accommodation. The accommodation must be non-residential and must be an individual room with an attached toilet. Visitors may refer to the Singapore Hotel Association for a list of hotels currently accepting visitors travelling to Singapore on the ATP scheme.

  • The visitors must remain isolated at the accommodation until the test result is confirmed to be negative. Checks will be made to ensure that this is adhered to. After being notified of their negative test results, visitors will be allowed to go about their activities in Singapore.

  • To facilitate the contact tracing process, visitors must download and register for the TraceTogether app on their mobile devices prior to departing for Singapore, keep it activated during their stay here, and not delete it for 14 consecutive days after leaving Singapore. Should they subsequently test positive for COVID-19 within 14 days after leaving Singapore, they will be required to upload data in the app upon request by the Ministry of Health.

  • Visitors must be responsible for their medical bills related to COVID-19 while in Singapore. This includes costs related to tests and isolation imposed on visitors for public health reasons should they be suspected of being infected with COVID-19, as well as medical treatment for COVID-19.

Visitors can apply for the single-entry ATP, at no charge, between seven and 30 calendar days prior to their intended date of entry into Singapore. More details on the conditions of the ATP, application requirements and process, and frequently-asked questions can be found at the Safe Travel website.

To expedite the COVID-19 PCR test at the airport, all passengers travelling from Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Mainland China, New Zealand, Taiwan and Vietnam are strongly encouraged to register and pre-pay for their on-arrival COVID-19 PCR test prior to departing for Singapore.

CAAS will update the travel advisory to allow travel to Taiwan. Travellers are advised to check the entry requirements imposed by Taiwan and take the necessary precautionary measures.

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